Florida Governor Ron DeSantis challenged President Joe Biden during a Fox News town hall on Wednesday night, at roughly the same time that Biden had a town hall on CNN, to step up and be on the side of freedom by supporting the Cuban people’s quest for freedom.
“You said, while the people of Cuba are showing incredible courage, the Biden administration said the exact words that I believe are showing cowardice,” Fox News host Sean Hannity said. “What should Joe Biden be doing?”
“Step up and be on the side of freedom,” DeSantis responded. “The Internet access is something we have the capability of doing. We have companies in the U.S. that want to do it, but they need the OK of the federal government. He has it within his authority to do that. He could make it happen.”
“And if he’s willing to do that, I think it will make a positive difference,” he continued. “As it stands now, he’s basically just sitting there doing nothing. He’s leaving these folks out to dry. And what’s going to end up happening, if they’re — they don’t get any type of assistance, the regime will continue to clamp down, and they will eventually stamp this out, and then they will remain even stronger in power. And that will be a huge blow to the cause of freedom.”
— The RGA (@The_RGA) July 22, 2021
PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT PROVIDED VIA FOX NEWS:
HANNITY: And I tell you, without the communications abilities, there are friends and families and loved ones, number one, that they would like to know that are OK. They’re not free to communicate, nor are — they’re trying to suppress the truth of what’s really happening.
You said, while the people of Cuba are showing incredible courage, the Biden administration said the exact words that I believe are showing cowardice. What should Joe Biden be doing?
DESANTIS: Step up and be on the side of freedom.
The Internet access is something we have the capability of doing. We have companies in the U.S. that want to do it, but they need the OK of the federal government. He has it within his authority to do that. He could make it happen.
And if he’s willing to do that, I think it will make a positive difference. As it stands now, he’s basically just sitting there doing nothing. He’s leaving these folks out to dry. And what’s going to end up happening, if they’re — they don’t get any type of assistance, the regime will continue to clamp down, and they will eventually stamp this out, and then they will remain even stronger in power.
And that will be a huge blow to the cause of freedom.
HANNITY: You said the people of Cuba need the truth, that they’re — by stifling — the lack of information flow or a free press, it makes everything very difficult. It makes organizing in Cuba difficult, although, albeit, it is illegal, but the communications aspect.
What other things could be happening? Senator Rubio, who will join us in a minute, rightly pointed out that the embargo works. On the other hand, if the embargo — if things get progressively worse, then people that are already struggling to get bare necessities, they will even be in more trouble.
So, it’s a — you got to balance it.
DESANTIS: We got to understand, our policy should be to be against the regime before the people. That means obviously doing things on the island.
It also means not relaxing sanctions on Venezuela, which will help the regime in Havana. They’re tied at the hip together. So let’s get real here. Let’s understand who the people are that are on the right side of freedom. Let’s stand with them. And let’s tighten the screws on this regime.
You know, I think one of the reasons this is happening now is because Trump turned the screws on the regime in Havana and in Venezuela. Biden wants to liberalize all that. And I think all that will do is entrench the regime in power, and really, really make tyranny rule on the island even more.
HANNITY: You’re talking about there’s a lot of similarities here. I mean, with all the natural resources in Venezuela, they should be one of the richest countries on Earth and the people should all share in the wealth.
Our state of Alaska, for example, they share the revenue from the natural resources. Instead of paying state income taxes, they write you a check as being a citizen of Alaska.
I would argue, if this movement is successful — tell me if you agree or disagree — in five years, the amount of money that would be invested to build resorts and hotels and vacation spots, in five years, this country would be remade at a level that nobody could imagine.
DESANTIS: I agree. And not only that. It would have ramifications throughout the Western Hemisphere.
Any time you have malign actors acting in any part of the Western Hemisphere, it almost always has a connection to the regime in Havana. That regime falls, and you have a free Cuba, that’s going to have ramifications for all these other countries that have suffered under Cuban influence.
We’re going to introduce — let’s give a warm Miami welcome, should we? Shall we?
HANNITY: Because — and Governor DeSantis is going to stay with us.
HANNITY: Great point.
Governor, you are right, every — there are people that I have — that were nearly crying that I’ve met on the way in here. They can’t communicate now with their loved ones and their friends and their family. And the internet is crucial. I agree with you. You’ve been right about that. And I think there is great cowardice of Biden. Is there more we can do? What should the doctrine be if we talk about a doctrine?
DESANTIS: Well, this is Western Hemisphere. I mean, you know, Monroe Doctrine. We want to have no influence of places like Russia and China. And I can guarantee you, if Biden is missing in action more, you are going to see China and Russia and some of those have even more influence on the island of Cuba without question. So I think you can work with Organization of American States. I think you can work with other members of the international community to stand together and support people who are being oppressed.
This should be a no-brainer given the history of 62 years of repression. Instead, you have Biden’s administration having our own country be criticized for racism. They are inviting that. That’s their priority rather than helping folks who could really make a difference. So, it’s bizarre.
HANNITY: When you think about it, the minute — think about this — the minute Cuba is free, that could then be a domino effect, maybe?
DESANTIS: They’re the number one source of support for the Maduro regime. They’re the number one support for Nicaragua. They’ve been the source of everything bad in the Western Hemisphere for 60 years.